Designer Shravan Kumar was in for a pleasant surprise at the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter Festive 2013 in end-August, when design guru Rohit Bal picked up a couple of his ensembles from his men's line.
The good run was extended to the three other participating Hyderabadi designers: Gaurang Shah, Anusree Reddy and Shilpa Reddy. In fact, modelturned-designer Shilpa marked a resonant debut on the LFW ramp, with 'Suriyothai', a Thai-warriorinspired collection. 'The Lakme platform is huge in terms of what happens to you, post the show. I landed at least three serious business inquiries, there were fashion shoots happening for magazines, it was a great buzz', shares Shilpa.
Fashion entrepreneur Kamini Saraf says 'LakmeWills Lifestyle Fashion Weeks, which are supposed to be b2b (business to business) models, showcasing the latest designs for the forthcoming season to buyersretail, are still quite a farce, and yet to get organized, in terms of a serious business agenda, to even compare with the fashion weeks in Milan, London or Paris. In the absence of patenting, most designers are 'inspired' by each other'.
And he adds that 'Hyderabad doesn't still have enough retail, so local events like the Hyderabad Fashion Week mean little to the actual business of fashion . You see no forum at the venue for b2b inquiries. Instead, you see a crowd which, pardon me, wants to just see bodies on the ramp or the wannabe socialite, who wants to be photographed. You won't see retail housesboutiques invited. I have never been invited, by the organizers, although a participating designer might have invited me personall'.
Recalls socialite Vinita Pittie, reckoned among Hyderabad's first national designers to be reckoned nationally, 'Hyderabad has come a long way, since the late '70s, when I came here as a young bride. There was no innate fashion consciousness as such in Hyderabad. In fact, my first show of mulmul Hyderabadi 'khada dupattas' was in Mumbai, in the late '80s, and it was a sell-out'. She adds 'Today, Hyderabad has evolved as a big consumer of fashion, and I'm not restricting the term to mean clothing. Also, no price is high for the brand-conscious Hyderabadi, and I'm referring to the serious buyers here'.